After dinner the kids ran off with Anita to get ready for the camp fire that was scheduled for the evening. I grabbed another deliciously satisfying cup of pale pink “juice” and took it upstairs with me for my after-dinner hours. I was pleased to note that I only had my regular medicine takers and Taylor. I quickly moved through all the med kids.
I had a look at Taylor’s rash. Apparently our McGyver job of Saran wrap over the steroid cream had only lasted about two hours before it got hopelessly ruined during wall climbing instructions. Even so, it did look slightly improved. The antihistamine had managed to nix most of the itchiness too. I put gloves on, gave it another good washing, and reapplied a very thin layer of cream again. I noticed that his finger nails were pretty revolting so I directed him to belly up to the sink and give them a good scrub with soap before he left. I was concerned if he DID scratch his rash open, he would get it all infected with those filthy fingernails. Hmmmm. I made a mental note to schedule another ‘Clean Hands’ check in the morning.
“But that stuff smells so girly!” Taylor complained as he pointed to my Juniper Breeze hand soap.
“Okaaaaaaay.” I gave him a look as I pulled open the sink cupboard and pulled out some generic liquid hand soap and plunked it down on the counter. Taylor gave it a little pump, put the dab of soap up to his nose, sniffed, and then nodded.
“Much less girly. Thanks.” He proceeded to give it three pumps while I sat down to start to document in my nursing notes. “I have heard that you should sing the entire alphabet song while washing your hands.”
“Ya that is a good idea. I think you should do that Taylor. Sing it nice and loud.” I rocked backward on my chair and peeked out into the hallway to see Joe the counselor waiting for Taylor. He gave me a thumbs up.
“Ya Taylor. Nice and loud so I can hear it too.” Joe called from the hall.
“A B C D E F Geeee,” Taylor screeched. Oh geez. I had to admire Taylor’s technique, but his singing voice…not so much. Joe guffawed in the hall at the horrible solo. Taylor relished the attention so he slowed the tempo and extended the torture. I checked my ears for bleeding as he finished. Negative.
“Come by after breakfast if it starts to itch again. OK Taylor? We can give you some more antihistamine.”
“OK. Thanks Anne.” Taylor waved at me as he left.
I turned my attention back to my documentation. I was enjoying the relative quiet when I heard the sound of soft but rapid footsteps along the hall. They came closer and closer and I turned to see Amanda stealthily step into my office, close the door behind her and then drop the blinds on the window.
“So you have IT?” Amanda whispered.
I nodded silently and then got up and retrieved the paper bag from it’s hiding place under the sink. I thrust it into Amanda’s hands and then sat back down in my chair.
“Are there instructions on the box?”
I nodded silently again.
“OK. I’m gonna use the restroom around the corner in case I need help. Is that OK?”
I nodded again. Amanda pulled open the door, looked both ways and then scooted around the corner to the restroom. I watched her leave and then turned back in my chair, my hands in my lap, I stared straight at my cup of diluted juice. I considered saying a silent prayer, but then wondered…what do I pray for? That the pregnancy test was positive? That it was negative? I didn’t know!!
My hands got sweaty and I felt nervous, so I got up and started to put out the bedtime medications. Then I wiped down the counter…and the door knobs…and the sink…and the desk. The waiting was killing me! I tidied up all the books and restocked my band aid jar on the counter. I wiped down all the thermometers and lined them up in the cupboard. Sheesh?! How long does it take, I tried to remember when I heard the restroom door creak open. I stood still and held my breath. Amanda came around the corner and into the office with the paper bag crunched up in her hand. Her eyes were filled with tears. I gave a tiny involuntary gasp and then quickly covered my mouth with my hand. Were these tears of relief or regret? She held the bag up in her hand and waved it at me and shook her head.
“I’m just going to be a counselor for the foreseeable future. Thanks for your help,” Amanda whispered to me and gave me a little hug. She tossed the bag into the garbage can and skipped out of my office. I stood there for another minute. I had to get ready for the camp fire. I was telling a scary story that night. Thankfully it would only be one scary story.